Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You Never Let Go

When clouds veil sun
And disaster comes
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
When waters rise
And hope takes flight
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul

Ever faithful
Ever true
You I know
You never let go
You never let go
You never let go
You never let go

When clouds brought rain
And disaster came
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
When waters rose
And hope had flown
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul

Oh, what love, oh, what love
Oh, my soul
Fills hope
Perfect love that never lets go
Oh, what love, oh what love
Oh, what love, oh what love

In joy and pain
In sun and rain
You’re the same
Oh, You never let go

God's Word

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
John 14:27

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to the faithful.
For the Lord knows our frame, and remembers that we are dust.
The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon the faithful,
and the righteousness of the Lord to children's children.
Psalms 103:8, 13-14, 17

Jesus, You wept at the grave of Your friend Lazarus, You know all our sorrows. Behold our tears, and bind up the wounds of our hearts. Through the mystery of pain, bring us into closer communion with You and with one another. Raise us from death to life. And grant, in Your mercy, that with Joe, who has passed within the veil, we may come to live, with You and with all whom we love, in our heavenly Father's home. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Book #18 - Crazy Love

After seeing Francis Chan live this past spring, I knew I wanted to read Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God. Then when someone gave me a copy of his book that was just released I knew I had to make it a priority to read it. This past weekend I did.
This book is not for someone who is satisfied with where they are in the faith journey. This book will stretch you, challenge you, and make you wrestle with what you really believe about God. I was talking to a student about this book last week. She said she had to stop reading it half way through because there was just too much she needed to work on before she went on to the next chapter. That's the potential this book has for the reader. I highly recommend this book for all students and adults.
After I finish this post I am going to subscribe to Francis Chan's podcast on iTunes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Sacrament of Living

"Lord, I would trust Thee completely; I would be altogether Thine; I would exalt Thee above all. I desire that I may feel no sense of possessing anything outside of Thee. I want constantly to be aware of Thy overshadowing presence and to hear Thy speaking voice. I long to live in the restful sincerity of heart. I want to live so fully in the Spirit that all my thoughts may be as sweet incense ascending to Thee and every act of my life may be an act of worship. Therefore I pray in the words of The great servant of old, 'I beseech Thee so for to cleanse the intent of mine heart with the unspeakable gift of Thy grace, that I may perfectly love Thee and worthily praise Thee.' And all this I confidently believe Thou wilt grant me through the merits of Jesus Christ Thy Son. Amen."

A. W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meekness and Rest

"Lord, make me childlike. Deliver me from the urge to compete with another for place or prestige or position. I would be simple and artless as a little child. Deliver me from pose and pretense. Forgive me for thinking of myself. Help me to forget myself and find my true peace in beholding Thee. That Thou may answer this prayer I humble myself before Thee. Lay upon me Thy easy yoke of self-forgetfulness that through it I may find rest. Amen."

A. W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Restoring the Creator-Creature Relation

"O God, be Thou exalted over my possessions. Nothing of earth's treasures shall seem dear unto me if only Thou art glorified in my life. Be Thou exalted over my friendships. I am determined that Thou shalt be above all, though I must stand deserted and alone in the midst of the earth. Be Thou exalted above my comforts. Though it means the loss of bodily comforts and the carrying of heavy crosses, I shall keep my vow made this day before Thee. Be Thou exalted over my reputation. Make me ambitious to please Thee even if as a result I must sink into obscurity and my name be forgotten as a dream. Rise, O Lord, into Thy proper place of honor, above my ambitions, above my likes and dislikes, above my family, my health and even my life itself. Let me sink that Thou mayest rise above. Ride forth upon me as Thou didst ride into Jerusalem mounted upon the humble little beast, a colt, the foal of an ass, and let me hear the children cry to Thee, "Hosanna in the highest.' Amen."

A. W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God

Monday, September 14, 2009

Book #17 - The Offsite

This past weekend I read Robert H. Thompson's book The Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable. I initially picked the book up for two reason. First, because we do a handful of offsite meetings as a Senior Management Team - sometimes one day and at least once a year, multiple days. I am always looking to learn. The second reason is because there is a relatively new movement within the business world to write leadership fables. I really love Patrick Lencioni's version of this style of writing. It's usually a good story that builds around a leadership or business principle. Then at the end the principle is drilled down into clear and precise language.
The Offsite had the good story built around a business and leadership principle, unfortunately because it is a spin off of a bigger leadership principle - the Leadership Challenge, there wasn't a breakdown at the end of the book.
If you get this book, then I would also recommend getting The Leadership Challenge.

The Gaze of the Soul

"O Lord, I have heard a good word inviting me to look away to Thee and be satisfied. My heart longs to respond, but sin has clouded my vision till I see Thee but dimly. Be pleased to cleanse me in Thine own precious blood, and make me inwardly pure, so that I may with unveiled eyes gaze upon Thee all the days of my earthly pilgrimage. Then shall I be prepared to behold Thee in full splendor in the day when Thou shalt appear to be glorified in Thy saints and admired in all them that believe. Amen"

A.W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Speaking Voice

"Lord, teach me to listen. The times are noisy and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them. Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, 'Speak, for Thy servant heareth.' Let me hear Thee speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the sound of Thy voice, that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking voice. Amen."

A.W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Universal Presence

"O God and Father, I repent of my sinful preoccupation with visible things. The world has been too much with me. Thou hast been here and I knew it not. I have been blind to Thy presence. Open my eyes that I may behold Thee in and around me. For Christ's sake. Amen."

A.W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God

Friday, September 11, 2009

Apprehending God

"O God, quicken to life every power within me, that I may lay hold on eternal things. Open my eyes that I may see; give me acute spiritual perception; enable me to taste Thee and know that Thou art good. Make heaven more real to me than earthly thing has ever been. Amen."

A.W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Removing the Veil

"Lord, how excellent are Thy ways, and how devious and dark are the ways of man. Show us how to die, that we may rise again to newness of life. Rend the veil of our self-life from the top down as Thou didst rend the veil of the Temple. We would draw near in full assurance of faith. We would dwell with Thee in daily experience here on this earth so that we may be accustomed to the glory when we enter Thy heaven to dwell with Thee there. In Jesus' name. Amen.

A.W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing

"Father, I want to know Thee, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus' name. Amen."

A.W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Following Hard after God

"O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, 'Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.' Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus' name. Amen.

A.W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God

Monday, September 7, 2009

Book #16 - The Pursuit of God

This weekend I read a book my friend Jeff gave me at the beginning of the summer. It's written by one of those 20th century theologians that I had to read in seminary, but don't rush to get at the bookstore any more. I'm glad Jeff gave me this book.
The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine by A.W. Tozer reminded me of some things that I haven't wrestled with in a few years. It also spoke life into me. I get so tired of the cotton candy pop theology that floats around today that it actually causes me to read less theologically based books. Tozer in essence wrote - this is who God is and this is who we become when we go after God with everything we are and everything we have. Good stuff.
At the end of each chapter Tozer closed with a prayer. I am going to post one prayer each day for the next 10 days. I hope each one speaks to you as they did to me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Series Starting This Weekend

Think about the last time you were traveling and got lost. You had your destination in mind. You had every intention of getting there. But you took the wrong path, and you didn't end up where you wanted to be. A disconnect often occurs between the path you choose and where you want to end up. This is the principle of the path and we'll discover how it impacts every area of your life.
Take the time to invite someone to worship with you this weekend at Charter Oak Church.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

15 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me

I loved Perry's post:

15 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me
#1 – Everyone Will Not Understand You…SO Stop Trying To Explain Yourself. Cast Vision…And MOVE Forward!

#2 – Everyone Will Not Like You…So STOP Trying To Be Popular.

#3 – You Don’t Have To Be The Person Who Actually Solves Every Problem….Admit You Are Not The Smartest Person and Let Your Experts Be Your Experts.

#4 – Spend WAY More Time Talking About Who You Are Rather Than Who You Are Not.

#5 – A Leader Is Always An East Target Because They Are…A Leader. So, Get Over Yourself And Get On With What God Called You To Do!

#6 – When The Holy Spirit Presses Something Into Your Heart…Don’t Ignore Him.

#7 – Do NOT Expect God’s Next Step To Make Sense.

#8 – You Can’t Plan A Move Of God…But You Must Be Prepared For One!

#9 – Do Not Resist Something Just Because You Do Not Understand It!

#10 – People Who Claim You “Are Not Deep Enough” Are Obsessed With Information But Have No Desire To Live Out Transformation.

#11 – You Don’t Need To Listen To Everybody…But You Had Better Be Listening To Somebody Because God Didn’t Ask You To Take This Journey Alone.

#12 – Never Apologize For Asking People To Commit To Something…Jesus Didn’t!

#13 – The Church Has Been Underachieving For Way Too Long…So Dream BIG And Don’t Apologize For It.

#14 – There Will Be Days When You Want To Quit…Don’t…Jesus Didn’t! (Remember…DON’T GIVE UP…if you are discouraged, take a second and read this!)

#15 – The Gospel Changes Lives…PREACH Every Sermon Like It’s Your Last!!!